Tui Canyon v3a2I*

Highest Drop 17m

Time 1-2hrs

Public Access

Short and sweet, with easy access and low flow: this is probably the most descended canyon within range of Christchurch!

While Tui is an easy canyon, many people underestimate what you need to have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Take the right gear for your group:

  1. Everyone needs at least a full-length wetsuit – ideally, 3mm with additional layers carried. Many people get caught out as the conditions can be warm and pleasant in the Glentui car park and cold in the canyon. Even in mid-summer, take lots of spare gear. It’s much more fun when you can jump in the water. You will get cold anytime you stop and wait.
  2. Everyone needs a climbing helmet – many places in the canyon have loose rock. Don’t compromise your safety.
  3. Everyone needs a harness and an abseil device – so you don’t have to wait around on the waterfalls and get cold. And its good practice.
  4. The party needs at least a rope twice the length of the longest abseil.

Kiwi Canyons has an excellent guide to the gear you need to take. Please take the time to read the information to make sound decisions for your party. Kiwi Canyons Gear Guide

Run commercially by BigRockCanyons. Open public access, but a courtesy call/email to the guiding company is appreciated. Ph 0800 Big Rock (0800 244 762) or email

The Canyon Topo can be dowloaded from HERE
FIrst half is Tui Canyon, second half Kaumira Canyon

5 Trip reports Log your trip

  1. Koryn Gould says:

    Significant landslide that has backed up the first of the smaller gorges down stream (the gorge that used to have the large tree). It’s now a beautiful long swim section. It’s easy to move quickly across the slip debris and certainly not a place to loiter. Trip video link:

    • Date -13 October 2022
    • Water level -normal
    • Anchor conditions -All in good condition
    • Group size -Commercial
    • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -2.5 hrs
  2. William Talbot says:

    Great wee trip.
    All the anchors were in place, the main jumps were all fine too. A couple of trees have fallen down lower in the canyon, but, that’s no worries 🙂

  3. Dave Hammond says:

    AN ALERT. Today the 16th February, Gort and I had just left the Tui canyon when we heard the sound of a rockfall, and when in the canyon there was a recent slip that may now be larger. We don’t know how it has effected the canyon.

    1. Grant Prattley says:

      We were in the Tui canyon last weekend. There is a new small slip part way through after the main waterfalls – however no issues with this. Cant see anything else thats changed from previous visits.
      Grant from Big Rock Canyons

  4. Dave Hammond says:

    Tui Canyon

    Dan Clearwater was kind enough to take Ellie and me through Tui Canyon. After practising a few canyon specific knots and abseiling off a picnic bench, we donned wetsuits and set off to the start of the canyon only a few minutes walk from the car park.
    The fun began immediately as we slid down the rock to the lip of a waterfall and began to put our recently learned techniques into use. Dan pointed out how rock-climbing methods were shown to be dodgy when mixed with water and why canyoning borrows from other sports, but modifies them to suit.
    Viewing the falls from the bottom was a privilege not too many are lucky enough to experience. We continued under gardens of hanging ferns and lush mosses to a chute of about 3m high. The choice of getting to the pool at the bottom was to slide the chute, jump, or scramble ignominiously along a safety rope. Ellie and I jumped with some hesitation, Dan slid down the chute into the highly aerated pool.
    The next fall dropped into a large pool, and was abseiled partly without contact with the rock as it was quite undercut. If you were careful, you could descend a clear space between streams of water until nearly the bottom, at which point it rattled off your helmet anyway.
    Between walls of lush green vegetation we walked out over slippery rocks and log jams to a footbridge and a path up to the van and welcome warm sunshine, food and coffee.

Submit a trip report

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *